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All Eight Characters in Bambi, Ranked

Drumroll please...

The final Bambi post to wrap up the Golden Age of the Disney Rewatch is the character ranking. Bambi's strengths definitely lie in its characters. They aren't great, but there are some solid ones near the top. Unlike the songs, Bambi's characters feel more like Disney icons. There are some interesting and unique portrayals of different ideas through the characters, and I really appreciated that. That said, here is my ranking of all eight Bambi characters.

8. The Great Prince

The Great Prince does nothing. Bro is literally in, like, two scenes, yet he's supposed to be this all-knowing, wise leader of the forest. We don't see him train and mature Bambi (and yes, I know that's what Bambi II is, but I'm talking about Bambi 1). He just hangs out and watches over the forest. He seems like he could be cool and interesting, but, much like the rest of this movie, he's just dull and boring.

7. Flower

Flower is considered one of the most memorable characters in Bambi, and I have no idea why. He's a skunk that just blushes at everything anyone says. He's basically Bashful from Snow White but a skunk. What is memorable about that? Fun fact, though: he's voiced by Sterling Holloway, a Disney veteran who voices the Cheshire Cat, Kaa from The Jungle Book, and Winnie-the-frickin'-Pooh. So that was kind of fun. But that doesn't make the character good in the slightest.

6. Faline

One thing Disney did not have figured out in the Golden Age was how to do romance. They just do the love at first sight thing for both Snow White and Bambi, and it doesn't work in either film. Faline is an incredibly forgettable and underdeveloped love interest that you are not invested in. It makes the entire finale feel very weightless, because anytime Faline is in danger, you don't really care. Not a good character.

5. Friend Owl

Friend Owl was fine. He was memorable for having so little screentime. I really like the way that he was animated. I liked the voice actor here. I thought he was a charming little character that felt a little bit like Bambi's Rafiki. He's wise and seems like the overseer of the forest. Of course, he isn't really given anything to do, so he isn't a great character, but he's fine.

4. Bambi

Our titular protagonist is...kind of mid, to be honest. Bambi feels like Simba without all the nuance and thematic richness that Simba comes along with. He doesn't really have an arc. Instead, he's just told by a bunch of people what to do and does it. That never changes, even when he eventually grows up. He isn't all that interesting or compelling. I was not a fan.

3. Bambi's Mother

Bambi's mom's Lion King parallel is obviously Mufasa, and I think that fits much better than Bambi/Simba or Friend Owl/Rafiki. She is the wise mentor that is sometimes strict but clearly loves her son. Now, Mufasa is done much better, but Bambi's mother still serves as a good prototype for the future king of the pride lands. Her death is just as memorable and traumatizing, and it serves as a good turning point in our main character's life. She was a good mentor. Not great. But good.

2. Man

I thought Man was one of the coolest parts of Bambi. We never actually see him, because we are Man. We are the main villain of Bambi, so we never actually get to see ourselves. That's a really interesting and unique way to execute a villain. Man is so threatening and terrifying through music cues and sounds. It almost felt like Jaws at certain points. He was a great antagonistic force that makes for one of Disney's most interesting and unique experiments.

1. Thumper

Thumper was, by far, the most fun character in Bambi. He's this eccentric rabbit that acts as Bambi's best friend. He can be funny and charming. He probably has just as much, if not more screentime than Bambi himself, but he has much more personality. He is the true heart and soul of the story. I honestly think a Thumper movie would've been more interesting than what Bambi actually is. He was easily my favorite character in the film and ranks as one of the best Disney characters in the Golden Age.


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